From the office of Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

The City of Evansville’s Standard & Poor’s “AA-” bond rating will remain unchanged despite a disclaimer opinion issued by the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) last month on the city’s 2011 audit findings.

Some members of the City Council expressed concern that the disclaimer – caused primarily by problems during the conversion to a new financial software system – would result in a lower bond rating, making it more expensive for the city to borrow money for future capital projects.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke directed City Controller Russ Lloyd, Jr. to contact officials at Standard & Poor’s to inform them of the 2011 audit findings and to explain the City’s corrective plan of action. Today John Sauter, a U.S. Public Finance Ratings Specialist at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service, informed our administration that there will be no change in the City of Evansville bond rating.

“I am pleased with the decision made by Standard & Poor’s. After considering the City’s 2011 audit findings, the ratings service understands that the City’s financial position remains strong,” said Mayor Winnecke. “S&P is also comfortable that the City’s computer software issues are being fully addressed and the accounts are now reconciled.”

City Controller Lloyd said the review by Standard & Poor’s was a courtesy to the city. Following a conference call, Lloyd said, “S&P appreciated the city’s proactive management of the issue and that city officials reached out to them to explain the State Board of Accounts audit findings and satisfactorily answered all of their questions.”

As a result, Lloyd said when the city goes to market issuing bonds for new debt or to refinance debt the city will go through the regular rating review process.